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Dec. 15, 2014 Issue  :  Features

Tasting Penfolds Grange

Posted: December 15, 2014  

Dec. 15, 2014 Issue  :  Features

Decoding the Penfolds Bin Numbers

Posted: December 15, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Dec. 15, 2014 Issue  :  Features

Australia's Icon

With Grange as its foundation, Penfolds has built the country's most respected winery

Posted: December 15, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Nov. 15, 2014 Issue  :  People

The Sparky and Sarah Show

At Mollydooker, Australia's Marquis family matches strong personalities with big reds and bold winemaking

Posted: November 15, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

News & Features  :  News

Australia's Peter Lehmann Wines Sold to Casella, Maker of Yellow Tail

Casella hopes its marketing and distribution know-how can help iconic Barossa winery

Posted: November 12, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Two Lands: A New Cal-Aussie Collaboration

Guess who's making wine in Australia now

Posted: November 3, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Jacob's Creek's wine reputation rests on a popular fruit-driven style rooted in Barossa Valley and South Australia. Ehren Jordan, owner-winemaker of Failla, is a prominent member of In Pursuit of Balance (IPOB), a brigade of California wineries professing to seek lighter, more elegant expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Now Jordan and Jacob's Creek are collaborating on a new brand, Two Lands, due for release in early 2015.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Grange’s Enduring Greatness

Consistency has been a strength for both the legendary Australian Shiraz and its label

Posted: September 12, 2014  By James Laube

Whenever I come face to face with a bottle of Penfolds Grange, as I did on two nights this week, several thoughts quickly come to mind.

I'm reminded of how fantastic this wine remains, and why it is still revered as one of Australia's greatest wines. I think too of its creator, Max Schubert, and the time we met in the 1980s, one of those special moments where I felt as if I were standing next to a legend, an original.

Aug. 31, 2014 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

Overachievers Down Under

Posted: August 31, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Aug. 31, 2014 Issue  :  Alphabetical Listing

Australia Alphabetical Listing

Posted: August 31, 2014  

Aug. 31, 2014 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

Cabernet On the Rise

Shiraz still dominates Australian exports, but the country's No. 2 red is coming on strong

Posted: August 31, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Looking back at Two Hands' Ares

After a dozen vintages, this Australian Shiraz has the goods


Posted: August 22, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

I recently had a chance to blind-taste all 12 finished and bottled vintages of Two Hands Ares, one of Australia's top Shiraz, with owner Michael Twelftree at Aspen's Casa Tua restaurant, with the help of sommelier Jill Zimorski.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Tasmania Sneaks Under the Radar

Slowly, Australia's southerly island might be making inroads in the United States

Posted: July 25, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Tasmania, already a favorite among Australian wine drinkers for its crisp Chardonnays, juicy Pinot Noirs and bright sparkling wines, has made little impact in the U.S. Most of the wineries are small, so there isn't much volume to go around, and until recently the often-tart styles have not been able to find a welcome.

Most Americans have no clue where Tassie is. Says George Galey of American Estate Wines, which has had wines from the island in its import portfolio for 20 years, "I actually used to carry a world map around with me and asked people to point out Tasmania. Restaurateurs and retailers usually pointed to Madagascar." Only off by about 5,800 miles. That's changing.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

The Orange Kerfuffle

Or how protecting a wine district can ruffle feathers

Posted: May 30, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Wine regions have shown vigilance in protecting their names. Years ago Champagne successfully campaigned to get people to quit applying their region's name to every sparkling wine, not just on labels but in descriptions. Chablis, Burgundy, Chianti and Tokaji did so too. Wine Australia wants the same courtesy for Orange.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Tasting Tahbilk with Alister Purbrick

Noble Shiraz, but the whites made from Marsanne are the head-turners

Posted: May 22, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Château Tahbilk, the winery estate in central Victoria's Goulburn Valley, dates from the 19th century. The Australian property has been in the Purbrick family since 1925, known for Shiraz from old vines, some dating to 1860. Alister Purbrick, the fourth generation, has run the estate (now at 120,000 cases) since 1979. He brought a series of mini-verticals for me to taste in San Francisco.

News & Features  :  News

2014 Southern Hemisphere Harvest Report: Australia and New Zealand

A first look at vintage quality Down Under, with eyewitness reports from growers and winemakers

Posted: May 21, 2014  By Augustus Weed, Aaron Romano

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

An Australian One-Stop Winery: Innocent Bystander

Yarra Valley favorite shows what a tasting room can be

Posted: May 15, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Healesville, a Yarra Valley town an hour's drive from Melbourne, attracted me not only for the wines, but also a visit to Innocent Bystander, where Phil Sexton makes Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in the steely style currently in vogue. His Giant Steps label, which focuses on single-vineyard Yarra Valley wines, often rates among my leaders for Chardonnay.

More than the wines intrigued me. The modern building is an architectural award winner for its angled placement, green certifications and distinctive long swaths of wooden slats on the exterior. The 70,000-case cellar door (Aussie talk for tasting room) also bakes artisan bread, makes pizza, mongs cheese and pulls some of the better espresso in the neighborhood. Dipping into the lunch menu is rewarding.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Finding the Strike Zone for Syrah

Onetime baseball player takes a cool (climate) approach in Australia

Posted: May 13, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Gary Mills of Jamsheed makes modern-style wines that are polar opposite of what most Americans think of as Aussie Shiraz. He even calls them Syrah, to emphasize the difference. They have firm structure, open texture and a savory spiciness around pure fruit at the core. They display tremendous and distinctive personalities, even as alcohol levels seldom exceed 14 percent.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 Outstanding Australian Shirazes

New reviews of expressive reds from Down Under

Posted: May 2, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

California Comes to Australia

Surprises in Clarendon Hills from Jackson Family

Posted: April 28, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Australians were worried when Jackson Family, which seems to be all over the California wine world, added a historic vineyard in Clarendon Hills to its voluminous holdings in 2001. A big California wine company taking over 250 acres of vineyards that included some vines that had been producing enviable wines for more than 50 years? Seemed like heresy. The Jacksons renamed it Yangarra Estate and quietly went to work on improving things.

Then, in February 2012, Jackson Family won the bidding for the historic 450-acre Hickinbotham Vineyard, about 2 miles away. Rather than making its own wines, Hickinbotham had been producing grapes for Clarendon Hills' single-vineyard bottlings and material for Penfolds Grange and Eileen Hardy Shiraz. Heady stuff.

On my recent visit to Australia I checked in on some experiments at Yangarra and tasted through the debut vintage of Hickinbotham Clarendon Hills Estate wines, due to be released next year.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Dipping into Natural Wines

A snapshot of the scene in Australia

Posted: April 16, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

Winemakers who keep their wineries spotless and hygienic would have been horrified by the sight that greeted me at Jauma, one of the stars of the natural wine movement in Australia. Flies buzzed about a motley assortment of upturned barrels and plastic tanks—any handy vessel large enough to contain a fermentation—the tops draped with old tablecloths and bedsheets.

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